DEAR ABBY: I am ashamed and angry at myself because I think I have made a mistake that is impossible to correct.
Two detectives came to my home about two years ago to ask me about a teacher I'd had in high school. He was being investigated for molesting boys. I told them, my wife and my parents that nothing had happened to me. In fact, he had molested me for more than two years. He was charged with molesting some boys and taking pictures of them performing sexual acts, but I learned recently that those charges were dropped because of some legal technicality.
One of my friends from high school nearly committed suicide because of what this man did. I feel awful about having lied, and now this man is free to do it to others.
Abby, that teacher took pictures and made movies of me. That's how he made me do things with him. He told me if I didn't, he'd send them to my parents and my friends.
The guilt is killing me. Please tell me what you would do in my situation. Please do not reveal my name or location. -- DIDN'T TELL THE TRUTH
DEAR DIDN'T TELL: There may be a way to correct your mistake. If more men step forward and reveal how this predator molested and blackmailed them, other charges could be filed. Of course, this will require honesty and courage from you and more of his other victims.
Here is what I'd do: I would ask my doctor for a referral to a psychotherapist who specializes in victims of sexual abuse. Then I would contact the district attorney, give an honest statement, and have that office help you locate your classmate who "almost committed suicide" to see if he will finally reveal what happened. It was not his fault, and perhaps knowing that may help him come forward. The crimes that were committed against you both are appalling, and the perpetrator belongs behind bars.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 14-year-old guy in high school. Two of my best friends have started smoking pot before school every morning. They have asked me to join them and "do it just once." I have tried over and over to get them to stop. They say things like, "It's the best feeling in the world," and "It doesn't hurt you at all."
I know for a fact that what they're saying isn't true. But I don't want to lose them as friends. What should I do? -- JUST SAYING NO IN MONTROSE, COLO.
DEAR SAYING NO: I have news for your friends. Smoking pot may seem like it's the "best feeling in the world," and "it won't hurt them at all," but walking into class stoned can be fatal when it comes to paying attention, retaining information and earning passing grades.
Smoking marijuana on a daily basis is the definition of addiction. If used frequently, it has been known to cause users to lose their initiative. ("Why bother to try?") Not only should you not join them, you should quietly inform a responsible adult about what's going on. What your friends are doing is illegal, and their "harmless habit" could prevent them from earning a high school diploma.
DEAR ABBY: I am 19, going on 20. My boyfriend, "Alex," is 28. We have been together for about two years and are completely happy together.
The only problem is Alex says he never wants to get married or have kids -- ever. I have never pushed the issue, and I don't plan on marriage or kids for a long time. But am I wasting my time going with someone who doesn't want the same things as I do in the end? -- CONFUSED IN OHIO
DEAR CONFUSED: Yes.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $12 (U.S. funds)
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